Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dads Are Leaders Too

As a society, we tend to judge our leaders based on their actions the same way a jury would evaluate a witness on the stand in court.

Jurors are instructed to watch and listen to the evidence provided as they search for patterns or inconsistencies to help determine the credibility of the witness. The actions of a witness play a significant role into the decision making process and an ounce or shred of doubt is enough to sway a vote in another direction.

This works very similar with leadership as the actions of our leaders are constantly under watch and potential scrutiny. People are watching the things they do but are also paying attention to the things they don't do.

Are they decisive? Do they stand back and let things happen without any form of acknowledgment? Or are they present at all?

The things they don't do are vital elements that heavily factors into the decision making process when evaluating our leaders.

A Day of Celebration

The third Sunday in June is typically known as Father's Day and is the time when the contributions of fathers are acknowledged and celebrated.

However, fathers are missing from many of the households today across North America. As an example, in 2006, 83.2 per cent of single parent families across my hometown of Toronto were headed by women.

This was also my reality growing up.

The person that I am today was shaped by my very awesome and heroic mother who was forced to leave an abusive situation to save her unborn child.

I grew up not having any concept of the what the man whose name I shared looked like, what his beliefs were or what he liked to do during his spare time.

In fact, I looked in his eyes and knew he was my father for the very first time when my daughter, Vanessa was six months old.

He eventually passed from natural causes before she saw her third birthday.

What I Learned

His love, discipline and guidance may have been missing from my life growing up as a child but in many ways his absence or non-actions motivated me to be the best possible father I could be.

I recognized the value of showing up, celebrating victories and being an encourager during defeats. As much as fatherhood is about focusing all of our energy and time on our children, I`ve also developed and become a much better person through the process.

In developing these understandings, I`ve learned how important our actions and non actions are to our children and how critical it is for them to see the examples of "present" fatherhood.

These lessons have stayed with me and have been a constant motivator to be the best possible parent and husband I can be and have weighed heavily into my passion of helping others develop their leadership skills.

As much as my father's lack of presence contributed to my parenting philosophies he also taught some valuable lessons when we finally met.

He left me with a vivid image of what being accountable looked like and demonstrated through his actions that it's never too late to make a difference to others.

Thanks Dad!

See you on the court!

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